The Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recalls briefly considering the casting of Sandra Bullock as a female version of lead character Neo. Released in 1999, The Matrix is one of the most popular sci-fi/action films of all time, and its brilliantly choreographed martial arts fights and revolutionary "bullet time" gun battles would go on to influence many projects released in its wake, on both the big and small screens. Directed by the Wachowskis, The Matrix would launch a big-budget Hollywood filmmaking career for the sibling duo that's had its ups and downs, but always been interesting to follow.
As with many movies, The Matrix didn't necessarily always plan on casting the stars it did. While Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss are now iconic in the lead Matrix roles of Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity, respectively, one or more of them could've easily ended up not appearing in the film. It's become well-known that Will Smith was originally set to be cast as Neo, with the A-Lister recently explaining to fans why he ultimately decided to turn down the part. It turns out though, Smith wasn't the only big star considered before Reeves.
During a recent chat with The Wrap, Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed that Sandra Bullock was also considered for the lead role, albeit briefly. Due to the fact that the Wachowskis weren't yet proven commodities in the industry, di Bonaventura was under pressure to cast a big name in the lead, to the point where they were willing to rewrite the Neo role as a woman to accommodate her potential casting. It's unclear if the character would've kept the Neo name in that scenario.
Interestingly, Bullock said in an interview years ago that she was up for the character of Trinity, and regretted not taking the role in hindsight. Bullock's reps told The Wrap that she didn't specifically recall di Bonaventura's pitch to her regarding playing Neo, but said that she feels the right person was ultimately cast, a thing she also previously said about Trinity. One wonders when it'll come out that she was almost cast as Morpheus.
All kidding aside, rumors seem to appear every few years about a possible Matrix remake or a new sequel, and considering Hollywood's current penchant for gender-swapped reboots, it's not that hard to imagine one day actually getting a female Neo or Neo-type messianic character. If that happens, it might be fun to see Bullock end up in The Matrix mix after all, whether in a lead or supporting role.
Source: The Wrap